THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I applaud the Senate Appropriations Committee for passing an important amendment that will help put the brakes on drunk driving across the country. I strongly support Senator Lautenberg's amendment that would help create a national standard for impaired driving of .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). This is a reasonable, common sense standard that could save an estimated 500 lives a year, while still permitting adults to drink responsibly and moderately.
Together, we have made great progress on reducing drunk driving in America. In 1999, the number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes hit a record low. But we still lose far too many American lives to drunk drivers: one American is killed in an alcohol-related crash every 33 minutes. Over 15,700 Americans lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in 1999 alone. We simply must do more.
Senator Lautenberg's .08 BAC legislation will help build on our efforts to keep drunk drivers off our streets. I commend Senator Lautenberg for his continued leadership in this area, and Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Shelby for including this bipartisan, life-saving amendment in the FY 2001 Transportation Appropriations bill that passed in the full Appropriations Committee today. I urge the Congress to act quickly to pass this legislation to save more lives by making .08 BAC the legal limit across the country and without further delay.